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Teacher Spotlights

Teaching Excellence Teacher Spotlight: Justin Schulze

What organization do you work for?


What grade-level and subject do you teach?

3rd Grade, Non-Fiction Studies

Where did you attend college and in what did you major? List all that apply.

THE Ohio State University; Majors: Economics, International Development; Minor: Spanish

What is the best part of teaching? What is the most difficult part of teaching?

Best part of teaching: Building relationships with the kiddos (Eating lunch with them is the best part of the day!)

Most difficult part of teaching: Never feeling like I’m giving the kiddos everything they deserve

Describe a successful teaching strategy that you use in the classroom. How does this impact your students’ achievement?

I’ve had a lot of success with reinforcing my key points throughout a lesson, particularly with vocabulary. For each new vocabulary word we learn, I ask the students to think of a motion that will help them remember the definition. When a student picks the motion, it seems a lot more “sticky” for the rest of the class.

What 3 words would you use to describe the experience of participating in Teaching Excellence?

Refreshing, Jam-packed, Reflective

When you are not working on closing the achievement gap, what do you enjoy doing?

Reading the NY Times with a cup of coffee

If you could create a t-shirt with a slogan that represents your philosophy of education, what would it say and why?

Give them what they need to succeed.” After five months in the classroom, I’ve learned that setting high expectations for students is only one half of the equation; You have to give the students the tools and skills to meet your expectations. Whenever something goes wrong in my classroom (students not following directions or getting low scores on a quiz), I always try to ask myself whether I set my students up for success or simply set a trap for them.


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